April 22 is Earth Day, where we celebrate all that our planet has to offer and we regroup to find ways of preserving it for future generations.
Sometimes the job of saving the world can seem too big, but thankfully there are some people who have found the words that encourage the rest of us to act and do what we can.
Here are seven quotes that capture the beauty, magic, and rarity of our home that is so in need of our consideration:
1. "Immensely powerful though we are today, it's equally clear that we're going to be even more powerful tomorrow. And what's more, there will be greater compulsion upon us to use our power as the number of human beings on Earth increases still further. Clearly we could devastate the world. […] As far as we know, the Earth is the only place in the universe where there is life. Its continued survival now rests in our hands." — David Attenborough
2. "Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together … all things connect." — Chief Seattle
3. "You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make." — Jane Goodall
4. "Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children's children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance." ― Theodore Roosevelt
5. "We only get one planet. Humankind must become accountable on a massive scale for the wanton destruction of our collective home. Protecting our future on this planet depends on the conscious evolution of our species." — Leonardo DiCaprio
6. "A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people." —Franklin D. Roosevelt
While many have tried, nobody else has been able to fully capture what it means to live on this incredible planet quite like astronomer Carl Sagan did in the '90s when he wrote Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space.
Below is his fully transcribed message about our planet.
7. "Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us."
"On it, everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there—on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam. The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturing, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known." — Carl Sagan
Cover image: NASA